Moving a victim from the scene of accident into a place of safety may be necessary in emergency situations. Moving and transporting a victim can have a significant impact on the outcome of the patient. Therefore, first aiders must know how to properly transport a victim to prevent further harm.
The immediate and primary goal of a first aider is to ensure the safety of the victim, rescuers, and bystanders. In some emergency situations, you may be required to move the victim out of harm’s way before administering direct care. For example, there is a threat of fire or explosion, serious traffic danger, or possibility of drowning. When you perform your primary assessment, you have to consider scene safety. Make sure to check for any danger in the immediate surroundings. If you think the scene is unsafe, there is a need to move the victim to safety. Here are important things to consider when moving a victim:
- Be sure to check for any possible injuries, especially life-threatening injuries. Carefully lift the victim making sure that you protect all parts of the body from the tensions of lifting.
- Support the extremities, the back, and the head, make sure that the entire body is kept in a straight line and avoid unnecessary movements.
- In some cases, the victim will have to be moved first a short distance in order to immobilize the affected body part. If a limb has been injured, place one hand above and the other below it, and prevent the injury from twisting and bending.
- Avoid moving the victim while the injured parts are not yet immobilized. Unless there is clear danger, splint or immobilize the body part first.
- In some cases, it would be best to wait for medical assistance or an ambulance before transporting the victim. Individuals who may have fractures of the pelvis, thigh, and pelvis, head injuries, or back injuries should not be transported sitting up. In such cases, the injured parts must be immobilized and the victim transported lying down. Ensure patent airway at all times.
Most of the time volunteer first aiders are not equipped with advanced life-
saving equipments that are needed for safe transport. You can use and improvise available materials in the surrounding to ensure the safety of the victim. For instance, you can use blankets or pieces of woods to immobilize a body part. However, if you think the moving the victim is unsafe for you and/or the victim, do not attempt to move him. Instead, activate emergency assistance and wait for them to arrive. You do not want to be a victim and be an added burden for the emergency medical service.
Through first aid training course, first aiders are taught decision making skills so that they will know when and how to effectively move and transport a victim. Visit your local St Mark James chapter today for schedules.